«

»

Print this Post

Mexico Timeshare FRAUD: March 19, 2016

scam warning >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

EVERYWHERE: Here are some new names to add to the list of timeshare scams operating in Mexico. The first two are working in concert with each other:

  • Transasset Financial, supposedly headquartered in Denver, CO. The problem is that no company by that name is registered as a legal business entity (corporation, d/b/a, llc, etc) in the State of Colorado (as of March 16, 2016), nor is there any license registered in that name by the Colorado Division of Real Estate. In addition, the website/domain name for the company was not registered until January 20, 2016 and it expires on the same date in 2017; it’s brand spanking new. They claim an address at the Lincoln Center building but provide no suite number to identify their precise location in that building. The phone number listed, 720 360 0589, is registered to Broadvox, a VoIP service provider. In other words, phone numbers issued to its clients are of the same type as Skype, Magic Jack, etc.; choose your own area code and you can pretend you’re calling from anywhere in the world.

    Names associated with Transasset Financial include: David J Lee, Closing Agent; Simeon William CEO / Director

  • Hunter Levison Group, supposedly headquartered in Dallas, TX. Names associated with Hunter Levison are Jenny B Castillo, Broker/Agent – Sales Department; and Albert A. Saenz, Manager – Sales Department. Not surprisingly, as of 3/16/2016 the State of Texas has no business entity registered by the name of Hunter Levison Group. Nor does the Texas Real Estate Commission have any record of such an entity. It does not legally exist in the State of Texas.

    Oh, and that address at 150 N. Griffin is bogus, too.

Google-Transasset Financial screenshotYou might enjoy this little bit of clumsiness performed by Transasset Financial, too. Their website says this: Our complete professional staff is ready to handle your refinance, home equity, and purchase money transactions. Rest assured with Transasset Financial… Well, if you search that phrase you’ll find its twin on at least 4 other websites (click the pic to see it better). That’s right; at least 4 other “closing” companies use exactly the same wording. I wonder how legitimate those companies are?

Really that’s all you need to know about those two fake companies, right? They’re total frauds. Don’t do business with them.


NEXT: If you get a call from (52 55 4162 9282) a Fernando de Castro or Hernando Castro or something like that (call back number 00155 4162 9282) who claims to be in the mexico fraud detection department/, hang up the phone! The current iteration of this refund/recovery scam is that Castro will want to discuss with you the supposed shut down of a scam operated by a Mr. David Keller who was supposedly working out of a Los Angeles suburb but was caught in MX. Can you see me rolling my eyes?

An alternate to this, which I believe is the same scam because the same phone numbers are used, is that one Hernando Castro Diego (“or something like that”) calls from the “Federal Fraud Money Laundering & Extortion dept” with the message that your personal info has been seized from the false resale company Stewart Title Services Co (which I’ve exposed before). and it is in your best interest to call that 01155 number.

It’s all bogus, no matter what names and phone numbers are used. In the timeshare recovery scams operating from Mexico, timeshare owners are contacted by someone impersonating a government official or pretending to be affiliated with various government agencies. The scammers convince their marks that the government has set up a fund to recompense people who were cheated by various timeshare companies; often the amount to be refunded is more than the victims originally paid. All the potential victims have to do is wire money to cover various fees and taxes, and the refund will be sent to them. THERE IS NO REFUND. The end, full stop.


Here are two more bogus companies operating a rental/resale scam from Mexico, working in concert with each other:

  • AUSTIN MARKETING SERVICES, INC., supposedly headquartered in Denver, CO. The primary name associated with this company appears to be Manuel Cereceres. This looks suspiciously like a case of business identity theft. Originally named REVEGETATION EXCHANGE, INC., it was incorporated in 1986, changed its name to Austin Marketing Services, Inc. in 2000 and was voluntarily dissolved in 2007. Then in October 2015 along came someone with $100 burning a hole in his pocket and that person spent that $100 to reinstate that company, allowing the company to claim that it’s been around for 20 years.

    Austin Marketing (or at least a company using that name and corporate address) seems to be working both the rental and resale angle, promising an unrealistically high sum of money for the rental of several weeks of your timeshare(s) in Mexico — once you have sent them the required “activation fee” (the equivalent amount of maintenance fees) for those weeks — and/or another ridiculously high sum for the sale of weeks.

    Oddly, the website that accompanies Austin Marketing advertises itself as a “full service travel and business agency encompassing both domestic and international business and recreational travel”, with ties to RCI. Most of the content on its “About Us” page appears to have been lifted pretty much verbatim from VIETNAMPARADISTRAVEL.COM, which was originally registered in 2005 and is not set to expire until 2018. Austin Marketing’s website/domain name was registered Oct. 12, 2015 and expires on the same date in 2016. Brand spanking new and not built to last.

    It has SCAM written all over it.

  • DREAMLAND TITLE AND ESCROW SERVICES L.L.C, supposedly headquartered in New Orleans, LA, is the company working with Austin Marketing. Similarly to Austin Marketing, Dreamland was incorporated in 2005, its license to do business was revoked in 2009, and it was suddenly reinstated in September 2015. The name of the officer on file with Louisiana is Jeremy D. Dwyer, but the contact person’s name provided to their potential victims is Adrian Mendez.

    Their website claims they’ve been in business since 7/11/2005, which is more than a little bit deceptive. The website itself has only existed since October 2015 and the domain name expires in October 2016.

Both of the above are somehow associated with a “lawfirm” called BHA Bufete Holguin y Abogados S.C., Antonio Holguin, Guadalajara, Jalisco. Watch out if their name comes up in any contact with you.

That’s it for this week, but sadly there’s plenty more to report. Stay tuned.



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” –Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Tip JarDo you have tips or rumors you’d like to share ANONYMOUSLY? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? Help fill up the Tips Jar so we can share it with the whole Timeshare World! CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

Permanent link to this article: https://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2016/03/mexico-timeshare-fraud-march-19-2016/

32 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. Scott A

    I just had a client come in with a contract from Austin Marketing Services Inc. The contract looked extremely professional and covered a great deal of my concerns as her Financial Advisor. The fact that funds were purportedly going into Escrow calmed my fears a little and I advised I would just do a quick search on the companies and the individuals concerned to see if anything comes up. Thanks to this website my client has not been scammed but I can tell you; the offer looked professional, the contract looked professional and I can see where people get sucked in.




    0



    0
    1. Louise

      This is great news Scott. I offered a letter of direction to forward the reimbursed money for the maintenance fees to Dreamland Escrow but they didn’t like that idea. The problem is that once you send money it is never enough. They always come back with some other fee to be paid. And of course you will be reimbursed. Not likey!




      0



      0
  2. Louise

    Apparently the address for Dreamland Title and Escrow Services is actually for a Life Coach.




    0



    0
  3. Louise

    I have just found out that in Canada you can contact Canada Anti-Fraud Centre at https://www.services.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/CAFCFRS/index.xhtml.

    Hope this helps my fellow Canadians that come across with the same issue.




    0



    0
    1. Robert J Jones

      From this fellow Canadian let me just say “Thank You”. Rest assured my next action will be to file my complaint with Canada Anti-Fraud Centre.

      I only wonder how these creeps out there can sleep at night! And Thanks to the Gate House for identifying some of these creeps. Just simply amazed at how many crooks there are out there!

      Bob




      0



      0
      1. Louise

        Glad this helped. I also notified my resort and they are working with the authorities in Mexico to catch these guys as well. I’d forward any information to yours. You never know.

        Louise




        0



        0
        1. Robert J Jones

          Thanks again Louise, I have sent all the details, along with names to my timeshare Hopefully these bandits get caught – and if not, I do believe in karma !




          0



          0
  4. Louise

    I’m from Canada and I’ve just been approached by the same people about my Bliss Membership. They first told me they could rent it for $2800 a week x 10 weeks then sent me documents stating $3400 week. I already knew it was a scam but I’m hoping to get Interpol to see if they can track these scammers down.

    4 yrs ago I got caught on one of these and lost enough money that I had to sell my house. It just makes me sick when I hear this is still going on. It may even be the same people.

    Bye the way, there are no fees or taxes from the Mexican government ( Free Trade to Canada and USA) and be careful trying to reach their taxation department. These guys actually impersonated on of their directors and forged documents to make it look like a government document.

    I even tried to contact the bank where the money was sent and they had someone on the inside because they never got back to me and the next communication told me to sent the money to a different bank. Turned out these scammers were in Puerto Vallarta.

    Louise




    0



    0
  5. Judy

    We have been contacted by Despegar and Real Estate Brokerage about Cabo timeshare . Now they are asking for money .. Thankfully I found this website first!




    0



    0
    1. Lisa E

      I am glad you did too Judy! Please help spread the word against these people taking advantage of thousands of people and taking their hard earned money and running.




      0



      0
  6. Mary Anderson

    i am trying to sell my Grand Mayan Rivera Mia Timeshare, and the Austin Marketing Services in Denver, CO. tell me that they HAVE A BUYER. I have already sent them $28,1s01.50 for what they are calling Mexican Tax Fees, and other legal required fees; and now they (the Austin Marketing Services) are saying that I need to send an additional &5,068. ….. Is this a SCAM?

    Does one usually have to pay “UP-FRONT” requirement fees in-order to SELL a Timeshare?? ……Thank you for any information you are able to share.




    0



    0
    1. Lisa E

      Yes you have most definitely been scammed. You should NEVER pay up front fees. If someone is to sell your timeshare they should be willing to sell then take their commission fees after you get your money.
      If we sale a home we don’t pay the realtor listing it up front, right?




      0



      0
    2. Rachel

      Sorry Mary. You have been scammed and need to report this immediately to Colorado state attorney general and the Colorado board of real estate. Don’t send more money! FBI told us this is the best way to go, they don’t have time for”small stuff” like this. Condolences for your loss.

      And above all, love one another; for love covers over a multitude of sin. 1Peter 4:8




      0



      0
    3. gatekeeper

      Mary, the Mexican government does NOT assess any special fees or taxes on the resale of timeshares. None, as in zero, zilch, nada. Please see this article on Mexico’s timeshare resale frauds to discover how these scams work; you’ll never fall for one again. http://www.insidethegate.com/how-to-spot-a-scam/the-mexico-escrow-scam-2/

      Unfortunately for you, Lisa and Rachel are correct.




      0



      0
      1. Louise

        so Its all fine and dandy that there are sites like this warning people, but how do we get them caught. No one seems to be aggressively tracking them down.

        Who do you even report it to. The FBI don’t want to be bothered and the local police can only do so much.

        Suggestions anyone.




        0



        0
        1. Rachel

          Louise It’s a sad state of affairs to be sure. They are criminal enough to use their smarts to avoid being caught.
          I am a licensed real estate broker in California and have to believe the Colorado laws of real estate are very different, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many doing this type of fraud in Colorado. Contact the department of real estate and file a claim against their license. It’s what we did. If enough people do this they might start doing something about these licenses. If nothing else people can look up their licenses and see the complaints of fraud and more people may not get suckered.

          And above all, love one another; for love covers over a multitude of sin. 1Peter 4:8




          0



          0
          1. gatekeeper

            Rachel, Colorado is really no different from California in this one regard, which is that the frauds are not taking place in the USA — not in Colorado or anywhere else. They are operating out of Mexico and PRETENDING to be in the USA. They use fake companies or they practice business identity theft to make their victims believe they’re doing business with real companies within the USA, but they are not.

            They could just as easily steal YOUR broker identity, make people believe they are you and make your life miserable! Google “business identity theft” to find out more.




            0



            0
          2. Rachel

            Thank you for sharing that. I knew they were operating out of an executive suites business center and the license checked out for appearances sakes. Didn’t think an active license would be identity theft.

            Sent from Rachel💕




            0



            0
        2. maam

          Who do you even report it to. The FBI don’t want to be bothered and the local police can only do so much. Suggestions anyone.

          Submit a report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center – IC3. It is run by the FBI. They might not be able to take every individual case, but they use IC3 to look for trends and to link multiple victims to the same scammers.

          There absolutely are FBI agents investigating these cases and arrests are being made. But the FBI needs your reports to make the connections, and justice moves slowly.




          0



          0
          1. gatekeeper

            Scams like this, particularly in foreign countries, are difficult to investigate. The FBI won’t do anything if they think it’s an isolated incident and the dollar amount lost is too small to warrant the massive resources required by such an investigation. So what you need to do is contact the FBI via IC3 as you suggested (this is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. The IC3 not only collects complaints but also analyzes them, links similar complaints, and discerns patterns in order to help law enforcement identify the scammers)

            Also contact

            • your state and federal assemblyman/congressman and senators
            • your state attorney general’s office; (or the RCMP or the Office of Consumer Affairs if you’re in Canada ). Make sure to mention it is a transnational, multi-state scam so they can coordinate with other attorneys general
            • the US Marshals Service;

            • Interpol – United States Central Bureau; Interpol’s databases help law enforcement see the big picture of international crime. While other agencies have their own extensive crime databases, the information rarely extends beyond one nation’s borders. Interpol can track criminals and crime trends around the world. They maintain collections of fingerprints and face photos, lists of wanted persons, DNA samples and travel documents. Their lost and stolen travel document database alone contains more than 12 million records. They also analyze all these data and release information on crime trends to the member countries.
            • the Department of JusticeOffice of International Affairs;
            • and anyone else you can think of.



            0



            0
  7. Anonymous

    We are getting frauded from Hunter Levison Group Albert A Saenz and John Chase with Transasset Financial David J.Lee. They got 43,000 usd and still going for more. Tought everything was going Well but After checking more carefully we have found you guys (what a wakeup call). We were one year away from retirement … Anything we must do ? Claude




    0



    0
    1. Sandra

      did this get resolved or is it a fraud




      0



      0
      1. Lisa E

        These people are definitely frauds!




        0



        0
  8. Rachel

    We have been contacted by “Real Estate Brokerage” of Colorado, license (active) 001168525, to purchase our Cabo San Lucas timeshare. They haven’t asked for money up front, but I’m still thinking its a scam as they have sent escrow instructions for a purchase price of $22,000. Any way we can help catch them in an active scam?
    Rachel




    0



    0
    1. Mike

      We have also been contacted to purchase our Timeshare by DesPegar Travel Agency and the Escrow Agency is Real Estate Brokerage in Denver. We have not been asked for any money and the contract with Real Estate Brokerage required the buyer, DesPegar, to pay all fees to close the sale. I realize there are Timeshare shams in the market now. Do you have any further information on these two companies to indicate they are operating illegally? Have you continued on with the process to try and sell your time share? Thanks for any other updated information.

      Mike




      0



      0
      1. Judy

        Despegar and Real Estate Brokerage are not legit. You will soon be getting calls that the Mexican Tourism office is involved and then calls from their attorney in New Mexico asking for money to be wired to bank in Mexico. We even got calls saying they had made sure it was not a scam! We almost did this, but I found this website and saved money and heartbreak.




        0



        0
      2. Lisa E

        Mike ask them for the business license to confirm. Do some research on their company name this is how they all start to hook you, they will get around to asking you for upfront money, do not give it to them. If they are legit, they will sell it for you and take their commission from the sale and give you the remaining money on the agreed terms.




        0



        0
      3. Rachel

        Mike, Our timeshare has never been for sale, they contacted us. First sign of a scam to me. When they sent the contract there were no indications of any fees, stated the same thing yours does. After finding this blog and the outline of the scam I responded to them with the question of would there be any fees once the process started, specifically inquiring about the ones indicated from previous posters. I have not heard from them since. Not a peep. Pretty good indication to me they are disreputable grifters. If you aren’t convinced send them back the contract and see what happens Rachel

        Sent from Rachel💕




        0



        0
        1. Anonymous

          I talked with DesPegar and got theinformation I needed. You start the process with Real Estate Brokerage and they are working with the Mexican Tourist Office to get a “release” so that the sale can occur. Apparently, the Mexican Tourist office will charge the owner a fee of 8 -16% of the purchase price which must be paid by the owner. DesPegar is not allowed to pay the fee directly. Once the owner pays the fee, they will issue a “release” that the Timeshare can be sold to another party. I understand that the Mexican government has ownership of the land so they want revenue when the property changes hands. DesPegar said they would reimburse me after I paid the fee. I am not sure what would happen on the reimbursement so I have elected to end the process of sellling. Thanks to all for providing information so I could understand the process.




          0



          0
          1. Lisa E

            Info for DesPegar is a travel agency, if you give any money for fees upfront, you are taking a loss and will never see it again.




            0



            0
  9. m88

    Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue together with
    your web site in web explorer, could check this?
    IE still is the market leader and a good component to folks will leave out your wonderful writing because of this problem.




    0



    0
  10. Lisa E

    Received a call from Amanda Adams saying she is with Finance Intelligence 714-616-3004 wanting to buy our Mexico timeshare, the number when googled pulls up a museum in California




    0



    0

Comments have been disabled.